Mar 03 2021
Renewable solutions are becoming more popular and economical. As the infrastructure needed for these solutions grows, steel is the answer to that infrastructure. Steel is the enabler for the energy transition and is the right material to move the energy market to a greener future.
Benefits of Steel
Steel is critical for supplying clean energy. In fact, steel itself is a green solution, and without it, renewable energy sources would not be possible. The high recycled content and recycling rate of steel exceed those of any other construction material. It is the premier green construction material for fabricating renewable energy solutions. Steel plants lead the way in supplying high-strength, quality steel for commercial and utility scale solar projects. As the renewable energy market grows, steel solutions have been developed for all the design challenges. Every renewable energy source requires steel, and the steel industry has reduced greenhouse gas and overall emissions.
Stainless steel has the ability to withstand harsh environments over many years, endure highly corrosive marine environments, and be used in water pipes and pipelines. Compared with most other metals, stainless steel will maintain its integrity for much longer, making it the right choice for hydroelectric dams, solar power, and nuclear power components. Producing biofuel relies on stainless steel. While other materials will not stand up to these corrosive materials, stainless steel will. Stainless steel is crucial to all power plants, which tend to be in harsh environments with extreme heat and sunlight. Stainless steel is naturally hygienic and can withstand these environments over many years. In addition to making the components for green energy, stainless steel is a green material itself. It has a long life and excellent recyclability. At the end of the life cycle, 100% of the stainless steel material can be reused and mills recycle over 70 million tons of scrap each year.
Structural steel is also a green material. It has a high recycled content (over 90%) and a recycling rate of nearly 100% with no loss of physical properties. Steel can be “multi-cycled”, which means it can be recycled over and over again. Structural steel is crucial to the components and infrastructure needed for renewable energy plants. Beams, columns, and other elements are necessary for energy solutions, and as a green material, structural steel is the perfect solution.
- Solar – structural steel plays a key role in converting solar energy into electricity or hot water. It is used as a base for solar thermal-panels.
- Wave and Tidal – a steel pile of structural steel is the main component of a tidal turbine in tidal energy systems. The steel used is formulated to withstand the harsh challenges of the marine environment.
- Hydroelectric – structural steel is needed to reinforce concrete dams.
Steel is at the center of renewable energy solutions with its strength, versatility, and sustainability. Metal fabrication partners are working with green energy initiatives to create solutions for better energy. Contact Swanton Welding Company to learn more about our capabilities and see first hand why we are the trusted choice in custom fabrication for green energy.